caliper 1

I mentioned yesterday that you could get everything you need for reloading in one kit from Lee, except a very important piece of equipment: calipers.  If you have never used calipers, you might find the following article helpful before proceeding any further.

Now that you have a wonderful understanding a how calipers work, let me tell you why they are so important for reloading.  The load book that you use will reference something called Overall Length (OAL) of cartridge for every load that they give you.  It is extremely important that you follow that length when designing your cartridges so that a few things don’t happen.

1.  You load the cartridge too long.  If this happens, you are going to have trouble getting reliable feeding from your gun.  This often shows up at Cowboy Action Shooting events when someones lever action rifle will not function properly.  The same thing can happen with your pistol.  Lame ammo, makes reloading no fun.

2.  You cram everything in brass to deep.  Now you have a pressure situation that might be unsafe.  You could potentially bulge a barrel or worse, blow a mag out or hurt your slide.

Using calipers will make sure that you keep things exactly where they are supposed to be; fun and safe.  If you are looking for a good set of calipers, try the Frankford Arsenal dial caliper.  They are very serviceable and won’t break the bank.